Immigration, Anti-Terrorism Efforts Affecting Image of U.S. and Obama Abroad, Study Finds

United States' Global Image

While most Europeans surveyed applauded the way Obama handled the economic crisis and the issue of climate change, overall confidence that the U.S. president would do the right thing in world affairs dropped in all countries where Pew conducted its research, except in Russia (Obama signed a key nuclear arms agreement with Russia earlier this year), and Kenya, the country of Obama's father.

Most people disapproved of Obama's handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A majority of people in most countries also supported removing troops from Afghanistan, where NATO and U.S. forces are engaged in a bloody battle with Taliban factions. A majority in only the United States, Britain, India, South Korea, Kenya and Nigeria supported keeping troops in the war-torn country.

To those outside the United States, China is emerging as a key power player in international politics and economics. The percentage of those who named China as the world's leading economy, ahead of the United States, rose from 20 percent in 2008 to 31 percent, while for the United States, that number dropped from 50 percent to 43 percent.

The study also found that there is limited support for extremism, with many fewer Muslims saying that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians are justified to defend Islam from its enemies.

This new survey by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project was conducted from April 7 to May 8, and covered 22 countries, including the United States. Interviews were mostly conducted face-to-face and also through telephone interviews in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Japan.

ABC News' Gary Langer contributed to this report.

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